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Implemented Second Officer


Head in the Stars
Staff Member
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🌸 FM of Yamatai
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In the past I've had a Second Officer on Kaiyo. It was useful for when I wanted to hand out responsibility to a PC beyond the XO. On Resurgence, I kind of said Trowa should be the same role and he fills that well! I think it works sometimes for plots, but not every starship needs one. But I realized I recommended this position without really checking in. I was just going off of what Data does in Star Trek more than what SARP's had in the past.

Because of this, I want to do a poll through suggestion- should we officialize the Second Officer?
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This suggestion has been implemented. Votes are no longer accepted.
I feel like it's not worthy of a whole occupation but is simply the most senior (time in service) line officer (combat arms such as starship operator) on any given ship. They're going to be an XO one day but aren't yet qualified for a command white uniform.
It makes a certain bunch of sense, though I'd usually think it as a secondary tasking on the XO's choice. Still. If it's a proper occupation or cert, could make some interesting RP opportunities.
I'm cool to pivot to what you guys are saying. The poll now is more of a "should this be a thing" and less "should it be an occupation" question.
Like Raz said, not occupation worthy but definitely could be made official as a duty position. Not everything needs a occupation code to be official. Plan on doing something like that for Rikugun "Senior Enlisted Advisors" and XOs since Rikugun don't have First Officers in the same way ships do.

XO's are usually running all the "mundane" stuff like logistics, sustainment, reporting to the higher commands, and training (typically with the most senior enlisted in the unit being the one actually implementing it). Second Officer could be learning all that on the side, while still primarily doing their main job.
I agree with Raz and Demi, this is absolutely a thing, but as a duty position rather than as an occupation it's self. I see second officers as usually being a junior officer who wants to head into the realm of command.
Was also thinking that, especially on really large ships, it would be beneficial to have a second and maybe even third officer for if something happens to the captain then you know exactly who is supposed to step up and fill that role.

Another thought I had would be that this is something where the senior enlisted would also make sense. It might not be a MOS, but the senior most NCO would logically have some kind of authority or extra duty that makes playing the senior NCO or second officer mean something.

The same could be said for the proposed Away team leader that Wes has mentioned but that's another discussion. I just think it could potentially fall under this category of it's a thing but not a MOS.
Got a lot of "this could be a thing" but no new votes. This is primarily a poll thread so please vote for it if you feel that way!
This particular position would best be handled by making clear what the order of succession is for Star Army starships, because it's neither a qualification nor is it a full occupation. It's simply the third-in-line of command. Beyond that, they might have some procedural or tradition-based assumptions such as "the second officer is in command when the first officer or XO is not present or on duty" or "the second officer usually accompanies the away team." But ultimately, I think having a clear order of succession procedures in place would allow each ship to tailor what their second officer does from anything extra to nothing at all.
I can agree with that. The XO is the Captain's right hand, and thus, the Second Officer is the XO's right hand, so to speak. My vote's been cast.
Here's what I came up with:
  • Star Army Second Officer is a position typically assigned to the highest-ranking Line Officer (not a Staff Officer like a doctor) of a starship crew (or other Star Army unit) who is not the Commanding Officer or First Officer/Executive Officer.
  • The Second Officer can either be a Star Army First Officer MOS (resulting in two of this MOS in the crew), or can be a standard officer MOS like starship navigator (typical) or starship operator.
  • The function of the Second Officer is to be an auxiliary XO. Second officers are watch keepers who stand duty as commander of the bridge as appropriate when the captain and XO are off-duty or occupied.
To be clear: NCOs and enlisted can't hold the second officer position, only commissioned officers can.
As far as Third Officers go as @Cowboy brought up, this is a thing on merchant ships, an actual rank (and position both, because that's how it works on merchant ships) according to all the research on international merchant seaman stuff I did to make the Merchant Spacy, and is reflected in our article on it. "Deck Officer" would be the Occupation, in this case. I.E. the red jumpsuits in Star Trek. Just like Engineering is yellow in SF. Because "Engine Officer" is also an Occupation, with its own ranks/positions that are the same thing, from Chief down to-up to fourth. The Trek panel system, kinda like the original panel system with the few MOS the old school GSA/YSA had, is sort of like it, although they don't use different names for the ranks of engineering department officers than deck ones like they do in merchant ships. And merchant navy stuff (merchant marine in the US) stuff is often based on premodern historical naval military stuff. (There's also considerable debate about whether a shipmaster constitutes a command watchstander or if they are outside of that, or if it depends on the crewing status and number of watches or not)

Screenshot 2023-11-18 at 11.37.14 PM.png
I remember a 3rd Officer being the a leading cause for the sinking of the Korean ferry the high schoolers died on so many years ago. Was piloting at night when they had no business doing so. The dereliction of duty by the captain/lack of training of the crew and the company cutting corners with maintenance made it vastly worse than it should have been though.